A selection of your opinions from this week’s Gazette.
Protecting our Green Belt is at the forefront of minds
Mr Nidd made a number of detailed claims regarding the Green Belt and future housing in your newspaper (October 8).
To clarify, the Ministerial Statements Mr Nidd refers to do not take away the obligation of councils to continue to carefully balance a number of (often competing) factors identified in national planning policy (including the Green Belt), in deciding on an appropriate level of housing.
In balancing out these factors, our approach has and continues to be, as far as possible, to minimise the impact of new development on our Green Belt.
The overall blueprint set out in the Core Strategy is consistent with national planning policy as accepted by the independent Planning Inspector who approved the plan.
While recent office conversions are a welcomed contribution, these and other brownfield sites would not have achieved a suitable amount of housing to meet the Core Strategy housing target.
We monitor housing supply, so the effects of office to residential are taken into account and these do help to reduce development pressure on Green Belt sites.
In addition, local allocations are still needed to ensure a steady supply of housing land is provided and where the supply of brownfield land becomes less certain.
We will continue to give brownfield and non-Green Belt sites priority, but we need to plan for a range of development needs, not just housing, and this includes land to support the local economy and future jobs growth in Maylands.
However, where opportunities arise, we have and continue to take steps to release employment land for housing as asked for by Government.
The Green Belt and its protection is very much at the forefront of our minds in making decisions on how the borough changes and accommodates development demands and we have made every effort to minimise the amount of housing planned for Green Belt land.
Cllr Andrew Williams
Leader Dacorum Borough Council
Time for our MP to push police for some real justice
In my letter to the Gazette on August 27 this year ,I said that it had taken me 25 years to bring a paedophile to justice, I also wrote about 14 sex offenders who dodged the courts after admitting their guilt by apologising to their young victims who were all under the age of 13 years of age,
They were all dealt with by way of a community resolution,this was meant for minor offences and not for sex offences.
I wrote to our member of parliament Mike Penning as he is the minister for the protection of children.
After three reminders from me I finally received a reply dated October 6, I was told that my letter had been referred to the Home Office. I also wrote to the home secretary on August 13 and to date have had no reply from her.
On September 25 I received a letter from the home office,Norman Baker MP, minister for crime prevention, who wrote that the community resolutions ‘have proven very effective in tackling wrongdoing and reducing re-offending’.
He also said a community resolution is an out of court police disposal that enables the police to deal proportionately with low level and predominantly first time offences swiftly and transparently.
This is just another way of fiddling the crime figures.
Children under the age of 13 years are not responsible and should never be made to, or allowed to accept any apology from their sex offenders,because these children suffer the effects for the rest of their lives. This is how many paedophiles have and do get away with this kind of crime.
Any police officer or home office chief who allowed this to happen should be ashamed.
Mike Penning MP the minister for the protection of children should find all the police forces who allowed these offenders to dodge the courts and dish out some real justice and put them in prison where they belong.
I hope I get some response and action from him but don’t won’t hold my breath.
Noel Swinford Hemel Hempstead
A jolly tale of mythical local sporting legend
In response to Stuart Nolan’s letter (October 1) asking for memories of Berkhamsted sporting legend Sir Trevor Hoblin.
I know he was quite an intriguing and interesting character from days gone by.
How delighted one was to read again of Sir Trevor or ‘ST’ as he was so say known. I have never met him but have heard many a jolly tale about him.
Some say he wasn’t called Trevor at all and in fact he had a much more exotic continental sounding name. Maybe we will never know.
What one does know though is that in my native Spain he apparently turned up at a golf tournament with only three clubs and a small bag and yet defeated all comers.
However, I’ve also been told he was a man of some considerable humour.
On one occasion I am led to believe, his drive off the third did not make the ladies tees.
As a result he presently performed a merry dance in front of his fellow golfers much to their amusement by way of a penance. How they must have laughed.
I do hope fellow correspondents will share their stories too about this somewhat mythical man.
Martino Jarvelo By email
New homes could eat up huge swathe of Green Belt land
A total of 2,500 homes are being proposed on the Green Belt adjacent east Hemel Hempstead by St Albans District Council.
This development would be on 100 hectares of countryside, from Woodhall Farm down to Leverstock Green.
One hundred hectares is 1 million square metres, so this is a huge swathe of countryside that would be concreted over. Redbourn Parish Council is against building on the Green Belt between our two communities, and feels that housing need does not outweigh the Green Belt purposes.
We are also concerned that little of no thought has been given to the immense infrastructure and environmental issues, should it go ahead.
This is even more of concern when you take into account the 1,000 homes at Spencers Park, East Hemel, that have already been agreed by Dacorum Borough Council.
That would mean at least 3,500 new homes in the area.
Whilst Redbourn Parish Council recognises that the country needs new homes, we don’t want to see our precious Green Belt being destroyed forever. Residents of East Hemel may feel the same and can take part in the Public Consultation on the matter by going to the St Albans District Council website at stalbans.gov.uk
Cllr David Mitchell Chairman Redbourn Parish Council
Perhaps the nails were too think and the teeth false?
Hyp hyp hooray for hypocrisy!
Now we know that swathes of Green Belt land in Dacorum is to be developed for housing one might be forgiven for thinking that those words are the guiding principle for our local Conservatives.
For years they have posed as Green Belt Grenadiers declaring the Green Belt as sacrosanct but have meekly raised the white flag of surrender to their taskmasters in Whitehall.
If it had been a Labour government that had imposed this policy the screams would have been ear splitting.
What we say today is not necessarily what we will do tomorrow is a reasonable charge to describe the Tories.
A blinding example of this is the NHS.
Prior to the General Election David Cameron told the people of Barnet that he would fight against the closure of Chase Farm Hospital tooth and nail. Chase Farm Hospital is now closed.
Perhaps the nails were too well manicured and the teeth false. He has boasted of his policy of changing the Primary Care Trusts to clinical commissioners staffed by GPs in place of bureaucrats.
However finding that he could not turn bureaucrats into doctors he has changed doctors into bureaucrats. No wonder there is a shortage of GPs.
In 2010 the cry of ‘Labours closed our hospital’ was deafening. Since then dozens of A&Es and hospitals have been closed and now in Dacorum the Tories never utter the word ‘Hospital’.
This raises the question as to whether Mike Penning MP has shown his concern about hospital closures and opposed them in the House of Commons and supported the Tory Government policy of mass closures.
Les Taber Hemel Hempstead
Take us back to our imperious days of the Imperial
I could be persuaded to tolerate UKIP’s nuttier policies like withdrawing from the EU and might even turn a blind eye to Nigel Farage’s conspicuous consumption of real ale and cigarettes which gives regretable support to the evil alcohol and tobacco industries, if UKIP made it a pre-condition of any coalition that we dump metric measurement in favour of the traditional Imperial system and return £SD to our pockets and tills.
Adopting these policies would greatly increase UKIP’s support amongst pensioners like myself.
John Eoin Douglas By email
Stop WASTE-ing your lives moaning and get on with it
So this week sess the rollout of the new bins in Hemel Hempstead and the rest of the borough and there has been the usual moaning and groaning from those who are stuck in their ways!
What is it with this weak generation of people we have spawned?
Friends of mine down the A41 in Aylesbury have had the same bin system for a while now and they love it.
Yes I can understand the concerns of older, more frail residents with ‘lugging bins around’. But they will be in a set place and you only put one (plus the little food waste carrier) out per week the same as we do now. Storage may be a problem for some people but unfortunately bins and waste are part of our lives. Get over it and get on with it!
Sukh Dhillon By email